Another week, another slate of amazing comic books to enjoy! This week we saw the conclusion of the summer’s standout indie series, Barbaric, as well as new installments of heavy hitters like Thor and Something is Killing The Children. Let’s dive in!
Barbaric #3 [Michael Moreci]
Owen’s initial adventures with his enchanted, bloodthirsty Axe came to a conclusion this week in a blood-soaked, action-packed issue! With spectacular pacing and writing, great art, and a superbly executed story arc with identifiable beginning, middle and end, Barbaric has been a wonderfully violent standout over these summer months. While it’s sad to see the series go on a hiatus leading up to chapter two, Michael Moreci has laid a fantastic foundation for future adventures. If you’re a fan of fantasy, or keep Conan comics within arm’s reach at all times, you simply cannot pass up Barbaric. 10/10
Made in Korea #4 [Jeremy Holt]
I was intrigued by Made in Korea from the opening issue, largely drawn in by the cover. Now that I’ve been properly engrossed in the narrative, I was surprised at the level of action in this issue. The actions taken in this chapter certainly will have long-reaching consequences, and the tension is conveyed excellently by the closing pages. Some real honest moments of deep emotional pain here as as well, as our naïve protagonist finds herself manipulated into assisting with a horrific act of violence. Excellent issue. 9/10
Winter Guard #1 [Ryan Cady]
Well, if you were a fan of Black Widow, your comic has arrived! Winter Guard spotlights the Russian counterparts to the Avengers, with Yelena, Alexei and Natasha all playing major roles in the narrative. While it’s a fun jaunt, there isn’t too much substance that’s been unearthed just yet. Still, I’m interested to see more! 7/10
Dark Blood #2 [Latoya Morgan]
Unafraid to tackle racial themes, Dark Blood‘s 2nd issue delves a bit deeper into Avery Aldridge’s home-life, as well as pulling back the curtain a bit more to his service in World War II, only to come back to a society and country that refuses to give him any sense of dignity, let alone respect. You would expect Morgan’s writing to do the majority of the heavy lifting in the series, but Barna’s portrayal of Aldridge, as well as his oppressors, paints a bleak and convincing picture of the world that Avery struggles against every day. Great run so far. 9/10
Something is Killing the Children #19 [James Tynion IV]
Erica Slaughter’s origin story continues, as we get a brief look at the highly dysfunctional relationships among the different “families” within the House of Slaughter. Tynion’s timing on the narrative arc is perfect, as Erica’s ability to overcome the severe challenges put before her borders on “Mary-Sue” territory – but given our visibility to Erica’s previous struggles and persisting uncertainty, it helps to put her success in the right perspective. A fantastic series continues with another great entry. 8/10
Darkhawk #1 [Kyle Higgins]
Higgins has, as they say, “done it again”. Fresh off the heels of Ordinary Gods and a continuously impressive run of Radiant Black, Higgins has set out to breathe life back into a cult-classic, and the subject of many comic-collector memes: Darkhawk! When high school basketball star Connor Young sees his professional prospects evaporate overnight, it seems as though nothing will be able to set his life back on track. That is, until a mysterious object falls from the sky, granting Connor the power of Darkhawk!
Higgins does a great job of making Connor relatable and modern, keeping the broader narrative well-grounded and overall taking some great steps to facilitate a fresh introduction to the hero to a brand new generation. 9/10
Amazing Fantasy #2 [Kaare Andrews]
With Captain America, Spider Man, and Black Widow magically transported to a mystical and unknown land, the trio must fight to uncover and solve the mysteries surrounding their circumstance, or risk being permanently separated from a world that desperately needs them!
Andrews does a great job in this issue lending some endearment to all 3 characters, from Cap standing up to village bullies, to Spider Man doing his best to woo a local. The art continues to be great, with sharp writing and an overall exciting narrative that I’m excited to dive into even more over the next 6 issues. Definitely have this on your pull! 8/10
King Spawn #1 [Sean Lewis/Todd McFarlane]
In the nearly 30 years since Spawn first graced comic book pages, the character has earned notoriety and interest from fans across the comic spectrum. Now, complementing the continuing run from Image, is King Spawn, which aims to appeal to newcomers and longtime fans alike. With a gripping introduction and captivating introductory chapters for new allies and enemies alike, King Spawn promises to lift the hero to new heights.
I’ll admit I’ve never been a huge fan of Spawn, personally. That being said, I really enjoyed this opening issue and am looking forward to exploring the world that Todd has in store for us!
Thor #16 [Donny Cates]
Iiiiiitt’s Donny! Having left Venom behind and with Hulk on the horizon, at least we have Thor to continue to enjoy! Ever haunted by growing visions of death – a particularly gruesome death at the hands of Thanos, no less, Thor is still struggling to figure out what it all means. His hammer is growing more fickle by the day, and he’s having to consider the responsibilities of leadership when all he really wants to do is enjoy a proper hot dog on the streets of New York.
As usual, Cates does a great job with callbacks to previous work (there’s a shoutout to his opening issue in Thanos in the early panels) and is slowly seeming to set the stage for something big, and bad, on the horizon. 8/10
Better Late Than Never – That Texas Blood
I had heard a lot about this series, saw a number of friends on comic groups picking it up, but it just stayed under my radar until the other day, when a new comic shop I went to had the first three issues. It’s a superb crime noir series so far, with fantastic writing and amazing art that really draws you deep into this small Texas town that finds itself rocked by a murder mystery. The series has actually concluded but I’m smack dab in the middle of it, so I’ll be sure to update you on my thoughts next week as I finish the series! In the meantime, if these opening issues are any indication – you should definitely pick it up! 9/10
That’s it! See you next week!